Monthly Archives: September 2015

Red Bell Pepper and Asparagus Salad


Geez Louise this heat and humidity just won’t quit. I grew tired of sitting in a pool of my own perspiration weeks ago, and after looking at the forecast for the coming days, there still seems to be no end in sight. Cooking is the last thing I want to do when the kitchen reaches 95 degrees and feels more like India in July, than Laguna Beach in September. Okay, I’m done venting. I’ll stop the kvetching and get on with it.

As I’ve said ad nauseam, I’m not interested in turning on any kitchen devices that could possibly generate heat. These days the rice cooker and the grill are my best friends. Just in case, I’ve begun plugging the rice cooker in out on the deck. One can’t be too safe these days.

With grilling in mind, I picked up a beautiful flank steak at the market and gave it a quick marinade with garlic (2 cloves minced), EVOO (1 cup), and sherry wine vinegar (1/2 cup). I let this sit in the fridge for about 4 hours. Once you bring it to room temp) for about an hour before grilling. Right before you slap it on the grill, generously sprinkle, both sides, with salt and pepper prior to grilling.

After you get your steak in the marinade, make your salad. You’ll want it to sit for a few hours so the veggies marinate and become softer. Here’s what you’ll need to feed 3 to 4 people–

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 bunch of asparagus

½ tsp. minced cilantro

2tbsp. sherry vinegar

1/3 cup EVOO

½ tsp. quality Dijon mustard

Pinch of sugar

½ tsp. minced cilantro


Shave your asparagus into thin pieces with a vegetable peeler, or slice them down the middle and slice again (basically you’re quartering the thin spears).

Add the vinegar, sugar, and mustard to a container with a tight fitting lid. Mix well. Add the EVOO and put the lid on. Shake the container vigorously until fully emulsified (integrated).


Pour the vinaigrette over the pepper and asparagus. Toss well. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.


I served the flank steak over jasmine rice and topped it with the salad. It was refreshing, crunchy, and delicious. Enjoy!

Eat well!


“A man says a lot of things in summer he doesn’t mean in winter.”

-Patricia Briggs

















Chicken and Udon Noodle Salad


What a relief it was to see the rain on Tuesday. Roger and I were in Barcelona a week ago and when we returned home last Wednesday, it felt as if we landed on the surface of the sun rather than at LAX. It appears that we’re going to find ourselves heating up again, so here’s a chicken and udon noodle recipe for those sweatier days looming on our horizon.

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This can be served either hot, or cold. This is what you’ll need to feed 6 –

2 packages of wide Udon noodles

1 roasted chicken

1 grated carrot

1 tbsp. minced ginger

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp. chili sesame oil

½ cup chicken stock

2 tbsp. tamari (tamari is wheat free, while soy sauce contains wheat)

1.5 cups grated green cabbage

¼ cup minced cilantro

4 green onions sliced thinly

1 small red pepper diced

1 tbsp. black sesame seeds

Peanuts (optional)

Boil noodles until al dente.

Pull the meat from the roasted chicken.


Using a large wok, sauté the garlic and ginger in the chili oil until aromatic.


Add the prepared noodles, cabbage, cilantro, green onions, red pepper, chicken stock, and black sesame seeds to the wok. Put on medium heat and mix until all the ingredients are well integrated.


Add the torn chicken pieces and mix again.

Tamari is salty, so you’ll want to check the level of seasoning and see if it’s to your liking. I only added a pinch more salt.

If you wish to serve it chilled, refrigerate it for at least two hours prior to serving.

Eat well!


“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck

















Gochujang Salmon and Coconut Jasmine Rice


Salmon is Roger’s favorite fish. It’s on our menu at least once a week, so I have to come up with new ways to prepare it so that it doesn’t become humdrum.I decided to marinate this week’s purchase with an Asian twist and throw it on the grill.

Garlic gochujang (a fermented garlic, ginger, and chili paste found in Asian markets and Whole Foods), is a staple in our fridge. It packs a tangy punch and is perfect for a fatty fish like salmon. Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade-

2 tbsp. garlic gochujang

Juice from 1 lime

1 tbsp. minced cilantro

1 pound of wild caught salmon

1 Ziploc storage bag


Add the gochujang, lime juice, and cilantro to the Ziploc bag.


Remove any pin bones from the salmon and drop the fish into the marinade.

Let it sit for at least an hour.

Heat your grill to medium high.

Remove fish from the bag and season generously with salt and pepper.

Oil the grill racks and place the fish flesh side down on the hot rack.

Flip the salmon (with a flat spatula) once it releases from the grill. Total cooking time for a 1” piece should be 8-10 minutes, but this depends upon your grill.


Here’s what you’ll need for the rice –

3 cups cooked jasmine rice (thank goodness for my rice maker!)

1 cup of coconut milk

3 scallions (green part only), sliced thin

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 inch of ginger, peeled and minced

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Zest from 1 lime

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. avocado oil (or canola)

Add oil to a wok or large sauté pan and put on medium heat.


Add the ginger and garlic to the oil and sauté until fragrant (careful not to burn!).

Add the rice, mix, and slowly pour in the coconut milk.


Toss in the lime zest, salt, scallions, and chopped cilantro. Mix well and heat to your liking (could be served chilled, too).

Eat well!


“I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.” –

W.C. Fields